We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
– Romans 12:6a
Rev. David Oliver-Holder
Rev. Dr. David Oliver-Holder is our pastor and head of staff. Pastor David began his ministry with us in March of 2017, after having served Wisconsin churches in Richland Center, Milwaukee, Hartland, and Bayfield. Like so many of us, he has had experience in several denominations. He’s a recovering Southern Baptist. He began his ministry as an American Baptist, and for more than 15 years now is very happily Presbyterian.
Pastor David grew up as a military brat (Navy), and lived in California, Florida, Virginia, Oklahoma and South Carolina, his birth and home state. Listen for certain vowels as he speaks and you can detect that deeply rooted Southern accent. A graduate of Wofford College (BS/Physics, 1987), in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Southern Seminary (MDiv, 1991), in Louisville, Kentucky, Pastor David completed his graduate studies in the Joint Doctor of Ministry Program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago (D.Min./Liturgy, 2001). He is married to Rev. Jean Oliver-Holder, and together they are the proud parents of Susan (UW-Milwaukee), Clara (Univ. of Minnesota), and Nathan (high school). He enjoys the outdoors, reading, the arts, great food of all kinds, music, and thanks to the sound upbringing of his mother, the Green Bay Packers.
Rachel serves as our Financial Administrator. Before coming to First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, she worked at Pavlov Media, Generations of Hope, and the University of Northern Colorado. She studied Non-Profit Administration for two years at the University of Northern Colorado and has experience working with various non-profits. Rachel spent seven years in Tanzania and six months teaching on the island of Yap in Micronesia. In her free time she enjoys rock climbing, eating good food, traveling, and spending time with her partner, Joel, and their four children.
Tracy enjoys producing the church newsletters and bulletins–the tasks that require the majority of her time at work. Tracy grew up in Mahomet with her parents and two brothers. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington with a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy. Tracy and her husband Joshua love playing and exploring the world with their sweet baby girl.
As church sexton, Steve maintains the church building, equipment and computer systems. Steve grew up in Monticello IL, where he spent most of his childhood fishing and enjoying the outdoors. Most of his family still lives near Monticello. Steve currently lives in Farmer City.
Jonathan Young is Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, IL, and pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance and literature at the University of Illinois. Originally from Moses Lake, Washington, Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Tacoma, Washington, and a Master of Music degree in organ performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music. Jonathan was the Alternate Winner of the 2011 Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition, held in conjunction with the fraternity’s triennial convention in Rochester, NY. From 2011-2014, Jonathan was Director of Music at the Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception in Mattoon, IL. Prior to this, he was a Senior Lecturer and Visiting University Organist at PLU. He has served churches in many denominations as an organist and choir director, including Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Catholic congregations, and military chapels.
Chris Beyt was born in Lafayette, LA and grew up in Baton Rouge, LA. When he was nine, he began playing trombone, and at fourteen he began to learn guitar. In 1999, he attended Loyola University in New Orleans where he studied with John Eubanks and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies. During that time, and for two years afterwards, he performed in New Orleans at various venues on both guitar and electric bass. In 2005, he moved to Denton, TX where he studied guitar and began his studies on upright bass. Chris earned his Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from the University of North Texas in 2008. He then moved to Champaign where he is now in the late stages of earning his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Jazz Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At the University of Illinois, Chris is the current Music Program Coordinator for Unit One at Allen Hall overseeing the department of music instructors as well as teaching private lessons and music courses in Jazz and popular music.
Children’s Choir and Junior Hand bell Director
Jennifer grew up in Pontiac, IL and got her Bachelors degree in music education from Millikin University. She now teaches elementary music in Champaign, where she lives with her husband.
Audio/Visual Technician Coordinator
Ed oversees the projection and audio presentations for Sunday Morning worship. He is currently employed as a Addictions Counselor at Prairie Center Health Systems and is studying for a MA in Counseling from Lincoln Christian University. Ed is a former preacher in the Independent Christian Churches Fellowship. He has two children, one grandchild and enjoys hiking and nature photography.
Social Media Specialist
Baker has been in marketing, public relations, managing social media and website development since 2009. She is an active church member who loves spending time with her teen daughter and their church family. Gardening, thrifting and photography are her hobbies.